Leila Jeffreys (b. 1972) is an Australian contemporary artist represented by Olsen Gallery, Sydney. Best known for visceral and mysterious images of birds that explore and subvert the traditions of portraiture, increasingly, Jeffreys’ work as an artist is inextricable from her concerns as an environmentalist. Working in the tradition of art-activists, the artist collaborates with conservationists, ornithologists, and sanctuaries around the world to find her subjects before forging an intimate relationship with the birds that she photographs. For Jeffreys, birds are both medium and message, bringing into focus the fleeting and precious connections that bind us to the natural world.
Jeffreys is represented by Olsen Gallery in Sydney and Purdy Hicks Gallery in London and has held solo exhibitions in Sydney, London, New York, and Hong Kong.
Melvin J. Montalban
Melvin J. Montalban (b. 1980) is a filmmaker and artist, whose recent collaboration with Leila is his first foray into installation art. Melvin has already established himself as a director for commercials, music videos, short films and TV, and his work is typified by evocative storytelling and emotional trust. His upcoming TV directorial debut The Unusual Suspects, produced by Academy Award-nominated Aquarius Films, stars Miranda Otto and Aina Dumlao. His recent short film Letters is a sobering tale of bushfire survival and a call to arms to support the Climate Change Bill. For TV commercials Melvin is represented by Photoplay Films, and his first feature film Flesh Without Blood is currently in development with support from Screen Australia and produced by Thumper Pictures.
Shake the Dust Off Your Wings is the second collaboration for Leila and Melvin, whose ongoing partnership aims to create art that quietens the mind.
See the collaboration come to life in the part video, part sculpture on Ground Floor from May 7 - June 18.